Black Philanthropy Initiative

Launched in 2007, the Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI) serves as a model for rethinking philanthropy in Forsyth County’s black community.  Through engagement and encouragement, BPI educates people to utilize their philanthropic strengths of time, talent, and treasure to impact meaningful change and address identified needs in the black community.


The Black Philanthropy Initiative is led by a group of community volunteers who acknowledge the traditions of sharing in the black community and seek to expand charitable giving through education and impact.

advisory committee
  • Roger Hyman
  • Melvin Scales
    Vice Chair
  • Michael Frye
  • Leroy Davis
  • Takeisha Redd
    Chair, Governance
  • Nicole Gentles
    Chair, Marketing
  • Mae Rodney
    Chair, Resource Development
  • Artina Dawkins
  • Robin Barksdale Ervin
  • Shawan Gabriel
  • Robert Leak, III
  • Leslie Sadler
  • Corlis Sellers-Drummond
  • Gregory Turner
  • Carrie Woods


The Black Philanthropy Initiative will offer two types of grants in 2020.


BPI’s Impact Grants are investments of up to $1,000 in local programs, projects and initiatives that support issues impacting the black community in Forsyth County. In particular, BPI is looking for organizations/groups with annual budgets of less than $150,000 doing work within the black community that aligns with education, jobs and wages, poverty, and/or civic engagement. BPI will have Impact Grants cycles in January 2020 and July 2020.


BPI’s traditional grantmaking round has a primary focus of Advancing Racial Equity in Education. BPI seeks to support proposals that address outcome gaps in the education-to-career continuum within the following focus areas: post-secondary education pathways; talent & workforce development; career advancement; and economic security & mobility.

BPI’s next Advancing Equity in Education grant cycle will open in April 2020.

2019 Grant Recipients
  • Crosby Scholars - $5,000 to pilot an investment club for 25 students participating in the African American Males Pursuing Educational Dreams (AAMPED) program
  • John F. Kennedy High School - $5,000 to provide college tours for 30 11th grade students
  • Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy - $5,000 to provide college tours to local colleges and universities
  • Winston-Salem Urban League - $5,000 to seed a small business mini-grant fund for minority-owned businesses
  • Winston-Salem Urban League - $5,000 to fund college tours for youth participating in a summer employment program
BPI’s Recent Report: Rethinking Philanthropy

Rethinking Philanthropy:  An Exploration of Black Communities in Forsyth County was published by BPI in 2018. This report draws attention to black history in Forsyth County and its direct influence on systemic issues and inequities still prevalent in our community today.

HOW TO Get Involved


The Black Philanthropy Initiative would not be able to do its work without the involvement of active volunteers who serve on committees. Volunteers are invited to become involved on a BPI subcommittee including Board Development and Governance, Events and Marketing, Grants, or Resource Development. Email Shamika Starke to get engaged.


Gifts to the Black Philanthropy Fund support grantmaking to organizations that address racial equity in education in Forsyth County.

Gifts to the Black Philanthropy Initiative Endowment will support BPI's efforts in perpetuity—to further support, educate, and engage the greater community in cultivating philanthropic solutions to address identified needs in the black community.

Donate now
For more information
Andrea Hulighan
Director, Strategic Initiatives
(336) 714-3467
Shamika Starke
Manager, Strategic Initatives
(336) 714-3453
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